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Lordmonkus

Mupen64plus Setup Tutorial (Launchbox Compatible)

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***Boring stuff first, skip this to get to the actual guide***

I wanted to make this guide because this is an emulator no one talks about, well no one around here it seems. Project 64 as an emulator isn't bad but the devs are shady with previous releases being packaged with ad-ware and now with 2.3 using the PJ64 UI you get a stupid nag screen which according to @SIMPLY AUSTINpeople are reporting it doesn't go away after a while. Now I have been using 2.3 through Launchbox bypassing the UI and I do not see the nag screen unless I need to load it up manually to tweak some stuff. I have also noticed that while Project 64 and the Mupen64 core in Retroarch are decent enough emulators neither of them can play one of my favourite N64 titles, Beetle Adventure Racing very well. Even the Vulkan powered Retroarch Mupen core does not run this game well. The stand alone Mupen64plus does run this game extremely well and it even has some texture pack support. Anyways, enough of my rambling lets get started.

Step 1

Go to the Mupen64plus homepage http://mupen64plus.org/ or as of the time of this guide go straight to the 2.5 release page https://github.com/mupen64plus/mupen64plus-core/releases/tag/2.5. You will want to get the mupen64plus-bundle-win32-2.5.zip or if you are running on lower end hardware get the dynarec version.

Edit: This version here has been released since this thread was posted, it has a simple but functional UI for easy setup and works great with Launchbox. https://m64p.github.io/

Step 2

Make a folder where you want this emulator to be and extract the contents of the download file into it.

Step 3

In Launchbox add the mupen64plus-ui-console.exe as a new emulator and set it to be associated with your Nintendo 64 platform.

Step 4

Launch a game either through Launchbox using this emulator or drag and drop a rom file on the exe file. This will generate a Mupen64plus folder and files in "C:\Users\user name\AppData\Roaming\".

Step 5

Go to "C:\Users\user name\AppData\Roaming\Mupen64Plus" and find the mupen64plus.cfg, open this file in your favourite text editor and edit the lines as you see fit but here are some immediate recommendations to look for:

# Draw on-screen display if True, otherwise don't draw OSD
OnScreenDisplay = True

Set this to False

# Use Pure Interpreter if 0, Cached Interpreter if 1, or Dynamic Recompiler if 2 or more
R4300Emulator = 2

Try this at 0  for better quality, more accurate emulation but may be slow on your system

# Use fullscreen mode if True, or windowed mode if False
Fullscreen = False

Set this to True

# Width of output window or fullscreen width
ScreenWidth = 640
# Height of output window or fullscreen height
ScreenHeight = 480

Set the width and height according to your monitor. On a 1080 display set to 1280 and 1024 if you want to maintain a 4:3 aspect ratio.

# Use Mipmapping? 0=no, 1=nearest, 2=bilinear, 3=trilinear
Mipmapping = 1

Set this to 3 if you use  more graphical enhancement settings

# Primary texture enhancement filter (0=None, 1=2X, 2=2XSAI, 3=HQ2X, 4=LQ2X, 5=HQ4X, 6=Sharpen, 7=Sharpen More, 8=External, 9=Mirrored)
TextureEnhancement = 0

Set this to personal preference, I don't use any of them.

# Enable/Disable MultiSampling (0=off, 2,4,8,16=quality)
MultiSampling = 0

This is your Anti Aliasing to smooth out the edges of polygons. I set mine to 8 but 2, 4 or 16 is fine.

# Enable/Disable Anisotropic Filtering for Mipmapping (0=no filtering, 2-16=quality). This is uneffective if Mipmapping is 0. If the given value is to high to be supported by your graphic card, the value will be the highest value your graphic card can support. Better result with Trilinear filtering
AnisotropicFiltering = 0

Set this to 16 along with Mipmapping 3 above.

# Enable hi-resolution texture file loading
LoadHiResTextures = False

If you plan on using High Resolution texture packs set this to true

Now you are done and your games should load and play through Launchbox and look as good as they can without the use of texture packs.

If you wish to use texture packs you will need to enable it with the last setting above by setting it to True. You will need to go to your "C:\Users\user name\AppData\Roaming\Mupen64Plus" folder and create a folder called "hires_texture". In this folder you will place your texture pack folders and files. The folders have to be named correctly like "super mario 64". I was only able to get loose file texture packs to work, .htc and .dat format packs I could not figure out how to get to work. If anyone has information on how to get these to work I would love to hear it. I know .htc is a GlideN64 plugin format and I tried using that plugin and different folder structures but I had no luck. From what I have read the Android version does support these formats but I do not know if the Windows version code is as up to date with that support or not. Like I said if anyone has any information on getting .htc and .dat format packs working please let me know.

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the boring stuff was very informative, I always wanted to know the opinion here from you guys, on which is the best n64 emulator and

I was aware about this ad-ware. (I made a rhyme without effort)

Thanks for the guide Lordmonkus!!

 

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My opinion on N64 emulation as a whole is this.

Right now for simple out of the box use with now frills, no muss, no fuss Retroatch and the basic Mupen64 core is extremely good and for the most part handles everything very well. It also gives the option to bump up resolution along with the other Retroarch benefits like shaders and such. If you have Retroarch installed and working and just want simple N64 emulation it is the way to go but you do not get texture support, maybe one day.

If full blown texture support is what you want then Project64 is the only way to go. It handles all the different formats, loose, htc and dat packages. Like I said in the boring section above once you get the 2.3 version of PJ64 setup and loading games through Launchbox bypassing the PJ64 UI then the nag screen is no longer an issue. I agree fully with Austin in not promoting PJ64 because of their shady shit but calling it ransomware in his latest video is a little harsh. Ransomware hijacks your entire system and locks you out unless you pay. The ad-ware shit from previous versions while it is scummy can be avoided with careful reading of the installer or looking around for an ad-ware free version.

The future of the Vulkan Mupen64 core in Retroarch may prove to be the best emulator in the end taking advantage of GPUs power to more accurately emulate the N64 but as of right now it still isn't better than PJ64 or the base Mupen64 RA core.

If you want the best possible N64 emulation right now and some limited texture pack support and don't mind getting your hands dirty with some manual config editing then the stand alone version of Mupen64plus is the best way to go. It is the only N64 emulator that can play Beetle Adventure Racing without major bugs and slowdown. That isn't say it is perfect because it isn't there are some small minor graphical bugs I have found in the first track but the game is extremely playable. All the other choices (PJ64 and both RA cores) have major graphical issues and slowdown.

I will still be using PJ64 for both Zelda games because Djipis texture packs are just that amazing and shouldn't be missed out on. For Mario64 I will probably play around some more with the stand alone Mupen64plus to do further testing. For everything else I don't know yet if I will use RA Mupen or stand alone, I need to do more play testing to decide.

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with so many emulators Im used to manual config..

I only have a few games, among those I wanna play bad fur day, and pj64 has graphical issues for instance a shadow mirroing the character, sorry dont know how to describe it.

is it possible to change the path for C:\Users\user name\AppData\Roaming mupen64plus.cfg

to be in the same folder ?

 

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I tried to do that because I would rather have it in the same folder as well but for whatever reason Mupen just didn't like that at all. It is possible I missed a setting tucked away in the config file to allow it to be in the folder with the exe.

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God, I haven't really delved too deeply into N64 emulation other than to play some Zelda and Mario with texture packs but what a pile of shit N64 emulation is on the whole. Each emulator plays certain games better than others but no one single emulator is best overall. They all have their really shitty flaws.

Project 64: Great for texture pack support and speed is good but their nag screen and shitty devs make it hard to like

Retroarch Mupen64: You get the nice features RA brings like shaders and stuff but it's so slow and games like Conker have bad graphic glitches.

Mupen64plus: Has some texture support but no overscan cropping so you have to look at awful pixels on the sides that should be hidden. Mario Golf has major graphics issues like fairways are black.

Retroarch Mupen64 Vulkan I won't judge because it is too new and early in development so it's not fair to judge it all yet.

Basically you need to have all 3 emulators installed and pick which one is used on a game by game basis.

Honestly at this point in time if I had to pick just one I would say use Project64 but get it setup and use it through a frontend like Launchbox and never touch it's UI.Games I have been testing are Banjo Kazooie, Beetle Adventure, Conker, Mario Golf, San Francisco Rush and Mario64. That is just a short list of games and each one responds differently to each emulator, I don't even want to get into the rest of the library to test.

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I'd have to play through all of the opening intro and get into actual gameplay to give an honest and fair opinion since it's not fair to judge based off non gameplay. But having said that judging just off thefirst few minutes of the intro scene I would say PJ64 is the better emu play to play Conker. Retroarch Mupen64 core has bad grphic glitches right off the start, Mupen64plus stand alone has overscan pixels which are just annoying but major graphic glitches like when Conker is wasted looking up at the sign it really bugs out. PJ64 seems to be mostly glitch free with only the spotlight at the very opening looking a bit off and that is it.

I would have to plug in my N64 and load up Conker to really compare accuracy. I will do some further testing into the actual gameplay and report back on it.

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sir, this mupen64plus.cfg is really hard to read..

my text does not have the following

3 hours ago, lordmonkus said:

# Width of output window or fullscreen width
ScreenWidth = 640
# Height of output window or fullscreen height
ScreenHeight = 480

Set the width and height according to your monitor. On a 1080 display set to 1280 and 1024 if you want to maintain a 4:3 aspect ratio.

 

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It should be in the [Video-General] section, below the controller settings but above the video plugin settings.

[Video-General]

# Use fullscreen mode if True, or windowed mode if False
Fullscreen = True
# Width of output window or fullscreen width
ScreenWidth = 1600
# Height of output window or fullscreen height
ScreenHeight = 1200
# If true, activate the SDL_GL_SWAP_CONTROL attribute
VerticalSync = False
# Rotate screen contents: 0=0 degree, 1=90 degree, 2 = 180 degree, 3=270 degree
Rotate = 0

That's what I have in mine but im using a 1440 monitor.

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Oh wow, do yourself a huge favour and go download and install Notepad++ right now. It will make your life so much easier to edit text files like cfg and ini files. https://notepad-plus-plus.org/

Have you loaded a game at all either by dragging and dropping a rom on to the exe or through Launchbox ?

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you see, thats why I was saying is hard to read...

through Launchbox , and theres many of your config missing

 

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I don't know why you don't have anything after [Video General] though. I have installed and setup Mupen a couple of times to make sure I had my tutorial done right and each time when it generated the cfg file it had all the settings there. Here is my cfg attached, you may be able to just drop it into your "C:\Users\user name\AppData\Roaming\Mupen64Plus" folder and have it just work. I don't believe there is any hard paths in it that need to be adjusted

mupen64plus.cfg

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ok I found out whats going on... The incomplete text is before loading a rom, as soon as load a game you get the full text...

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As of today, I wonder why there is not such a good emulator for N64... is it that difficult to emulate..

 

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